|Charles City County|
(in alphabetical order)
Belle Air Plantation is also one of America's oldest frame dwellings (c.1670). It is on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. The first and second floors and outbuildings are open during Historic Garden Week. It is considered an important and unique architectural monument, with its rare Jacobean staircase and massive heart-pine timbers with decorative detailing. Address: 11800 John Tyler Memorial Highway, Charles City, Virginia, 23030. Phone: 804-829-2431.
Berkeley Plantation (1726) states it was the site of the first official celebration of Thanksgiving in the New World, in 1619. It is also the birthplace of Benjamin Harrison (signer of the Declaration of Independence), William Henry Harrison (9th President), and ancestral home of Benjamin Harrison (23rd President) During the Civil War, General McClellan headquartered his troops on the grounds, and "Taps" was composed at this location in 1862. Bourbon whiskey was first distilled here in the 17th century. Address: 12602 Harrison Landing Road, Charles City. Phone: 804-829-6018.
Edgewood Plantation (c.1849) is a national and state landmark property that was once part of Berkeley Plantation. It is operated now as a bed and breakfast establishment. The property includes the 1725 Benjamin Harris Grist Mill. Address: 4800 John Tyler Memorial Highway, Charles City, VA, 23030. Phone: 800-296-3343.
Evelynton Plantation was originally part of William Byrd's Westover Plantation, named for his daughter. It became a home for the Ruffin family in 1847. Edmond Ruffin fired the first shot of the Civil War at Fort Sumter, and later he was renowned for his agricultural expertise and called the "father of American agronomy." Civil War battles were fought on the grounds. The original house and outbuildings burned during the Battle of Evelynton Heights, and the current resident was built two generations later. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, but the house and grounds are closed to tours, according to available information. Address: 6701 John Tyler Highway, Charles City, VA, 23030. Info: 800-473-5075.
Kittiewan Plantation (18th century), is a 720-acre plantation. The first known owner of the house was Dr. William Rickman, who was appointed by the Continental Congress to oversee the Virginia hospitals during the American Revolution. During the Civil War, the property was occupied by Union troops commanded by General Philip Sheridan just before the Siege of Petersburg. The Archeological Society of Virginia has the plantation in trust. Tours are by appointment only. Address: 12104 Weyanoke Road, Charles City, VA, 23030. Phone: 804-829-2272.
*The Historian for Kittiewan Plantation is conducting in-depth research on all families associated with the property, and he would welcome correspondence with those interested in the families named below.
Patrick O'Neill ~ you can e-mail him, or call him @ 703-249-9593
The landowner surnames are: Hoe, Roane, Blair, Gregory, Ballard, Willard, Rickman, Harrison, Edmondson, Selden, Stuart, Palmer, Harvey, Spotts, Kracke, Euker, Pointer, Clark, Cropper Wade, Colbourne.
The surnames of slave descendants are: Johnson, Whiting, Jones, Fuqua, Hilton, Wyatt.
North Bend Plantation (1801) was built by William Minge for his wife Sarah Harrison, sister to William Henry Harrison (9th President). The current owner is a descendant, and the Greek Revival home is a National Register property and Virginia Historic Landmark. It is operated as a bed and breakfast establishment. Address: 12200 Weyanoke Road, Charles City, VA, 23030. Phone: 804-829-5176.
Piney Grove at Southall's Plantation is a property based around the original port of Piney Grove, which was built before 1790 on the Southall Plantation. It is called a "rare survival of early Virginia log architecture." House tours are available by appointment. Address: 16920 Southall Plantation Lane, Charles City, VA, 23030. Phone: 804-829-2480.
Sherwood Forest Plantation was the home of President John Tyler from 1842 to his death in 1862. The house dates from about 1720 and is considered to be a classic example of Virginia Tidewater design, and the longest frame house in America at over 300 feet in length. With a beautiful landscape and 12 dependencies, the property has one of the most complete plantation yards left in America, dating from about 1680. It was first recorded in a 1616 land grant, under the name of "Smith's Hundred." Tyler bought the property from his cousin Collier Minge and renamed it, and it is still owned by his descendants. Address: 14501 John Tyler Memorial Highway, Charles City, VA, 23030. Phone: 804-829-5377.
Shirley Plantation is the quintessential James River plantation. The first plantation in Virginia, it was founded six years after settlers arrived at Jamestown in 1607, and has been owned by eleven generations of the same family. It is called "the most intact 18th-century estate in Virginia." This property has seen a long list of historic events over the centuries, including Bacon's Rebellion, the American Revolution, and the Civil War. The house is famous for its "Flying Staircase," a walnut staircase rising for three stories without visible means of support -- the only one of its kind in America. The property has beautiful formal gardens and original colonial outbuildings. Address: 501 Shirley Plantation Road, Charles City, Virginia, 23030. Phone: 804-829-5121 or 800-232-1613.
Southall's Plantation ~ see "Piney Grove at Southall's Plantation"
Westover Plantation was built in the first half of the 18th century by the Byrd family. The house and grounds have a good view of the James River. Visitors can explore the grounds, formal gardens, and old outbuildings. During Historical Garden Week and Autumn Pilgrimage, tours of the house are available. Address: 7000 Westover Road, Charles City, Virginia, 23030. Phone: 804-829-2882.
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|©2008 to present, Katherine Benbow, except material attributed to others|